Film master McTiernan explains why he couldn’t direct Mel Gibson in “Braveheart”

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“You don’t want to ask me about superhero movies…”, he suggests. John McTiernan with his vision of today’s Hollywood still on the tip of his tongue, noting that time is running out in the interview Talks with teachers of the Mar del Plata International Film Festival.

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PredatorDie Hard (the two films presented at the festival), The Hunt for Red October, the last great hero, thirteen warriors or The Thomas Crown Affair demonstrate McTiernan’s talent with camera in hand. director he knew he was on the crest of the wave in that Hollywood of the 80s and 90sbut almost two decades have gone by without filming.

And, at that stage, he spent about a year away from the set while being imprisoned for a case of illegal espionage within the industry.

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a man of words

McTiernan prefer the long answer to all questionsincluding the one he himself formulated, about superhero movies, and cites rock painting as a primitive cinematic narrative to later explain that all artistic representation throughout history was centered on kings and powerful, until Jacques-Louis David he changed the paradigm by depicting people of his class in 18th century France.

“Just a few years later, those same boys were conquering the Bastille and guillotinating King Louis XVI. The tools of representation no longer belonged only to the rich, ”he condemned.

Until the mid-90sThe big studios were run by people who knew the movies or by intelligent people who was concerned with spreading a culture in the world. Unfortunately at that time they were bought by banks and companies and the producers were replaced by people who were not interested in cinema.

“I’m supervisors who protect the interests of the richest and guarantee the greatest profits for your investors Movies stopped showing normal people, workers, but they couldn’t even go back to representing kings and nobles. What then did the big machines start doing? He started talking about wizards or superheroes, who aren’t even human beings. And this is a very clear political action, a counter-revolution of great historical importance and we must not lose sight of it “, complains the director, who snorts at the mere mention of Spider-Man.

Director points to Stanley Kubrick as “the Beethoven of cinema” the American nightby François Truffaut, like the film that made him abandon his career as an anthropologist: “What attracted me to cinema was that it was half aesthetic and half engineering work.. Before studying cinema I studied anthropology which, like cinema, is looking at people and understanding what is happening ”.

“When I was in film school in New York I realized that I was already familiar with films from twenty years ago. When I was between 2 and 5 I used to go to 1950s movies with my mother.. To become proficient at anything, it takes thousands of hours of preparation and preliminary concentration. I’ve already brought those thousands of hours of images from that period, ”recalls McTiernan.

John acknowledges that it was difficult for him to understand cinema because, “despite reading a lot of books, no one could explain to me what a film was. And to create one, I needed to know. When I saw La noche americana I realized that a film was much more than the plot or certain technical aspects. I was able to understand the essence of cinema, as a series of images in a precise order. And that specific meaning is obtained thanks to editing ”.

An old sea dog

McTiernan acts like a cheerleader during most of the speech and, how long he sits, almost motionless, sometimes he seems to be acting in a cabaret show. John jokes when her wife -Gail Sistrunk, who accompanies him to Sol y Sombra- asks him to round up her answers: he ignores her and says that Doesn’t know “that woman who came here with me”.

The couple had time to stroll along the boulevard of Mar del Plataamong the emblematic sea lions, as the first activity in the city after the eventful landing on the coast, which included an urgent appointment with the dentist before moving to Buenos Aires.

John is surprised when he says it He was already in Mar del Plata and even wanted to shoot around town. “For every movie you make, there are four or five projects that don’t get made. A producer sent me on tour in Argentina looking for locations to see if we could make a film. I have traveled more than fifteen hundred kilometers, we have arrived in a place that I believe is called Comodoro Rivadavia. And on that journey we passed through here, through Mar del Plata. I liked the city a lot and it seemed like the best place to film it, but in the end it didn’t help. If there is anyone now who still has three or four million dollars, let me know ”, he closes her, a little joking and a little seriously.

the only regret

John McTiernan takes a while to think about each answer, though his silence never expresses discomfort. The director replied immediately, without allowing himself any doubts, just talking about the the only project he regretted refusing. He said he was offered to take over Brave HeartMel Gibson’s consecration film.

The director recalled an anecdote that struck the actor, with whom he maintains a good relationship, thanks to his ability to remember every shot of a film.

“I learned to memorize entire movies. I started with clockwork orangeby Stanley Kubrick, which counts 620 shots: I memorized what the camera was doing in each of them, and I did the same with the 1,170 shots of, by Fellini. Like this I also impressed Mel Gibson when we talked about Apocalyptobecause I find it very easy to memorize entire movie sequences ”.

“He told me he wanted me to direct Brave Heart, but at that moment he didn’t ask me. The contact was through my agent with the screenwriter, who he was such an arrogant and idiotic guy that I refused to do it. Later when I found out it was Mel who really wanted me in the movie, I regretted not doing it”, The director still regrets.

McTiernan also refused to work with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commandbut the actor would soon cross his path again.

“I made a promise to a producer and had to say no. But that project failed and luckily I ended up being a predator. I liked the script for her candor. It was impossible to be mistaken if you thought about it from a pochoclero point of view. She refuses a lot, but this has closed me on all sides. For the script, the studio and, above all, for the production of Joel Silver, ”closed the director.

Source: Clarin

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